Chicago's 30 Best 4/20 Munchies


Chicago's 30 Best 4/20 Munchies
Chicago's 30 Best 4/20 Munchies

Sean Cooley/Thrillist
Sean Cooley/Thrillist

We’ll see your Klondike bar and bag of 7-Eleven potato chips, and raise you an ice cream sandwich the size of YOUR FACE and the most explosive loaded fries in Chicago. Then we'll fold, and actually go eat the 30 best munchies in the Chicagoland. Happy 4/20, indeed.


Waffles Cafe (address and info)
Lakeview/Streeterville/South Loop
Cakey, fluffy, deep-fried goodness dipped (or double-dipped) in sugar, marshmallow, maple, or chocolate glaze and then covered in sprinkles, chocolate shavings, and... do we need to keep going?


Fruity Pebbles French toast

Flo (address and info)
West Town
French toast coated in your favorite sugary childhood cereal. Bring on the cartoons.

courtesy of ANTHONY SOAVE

The Colombian-style dog

Rapidito Colombian Gourmet Bites (address and info)
Lincoln Park
Toppings include pulled chicken, cheese, and crushed potato chips. Oh, and hard-boiled quail eggs. OH, and pineapple sauce. GUYS AND ketchup, mustard, and honey.

rockit ranch productions

Sumo Mary

Sunda (address and info)
River North
If you want to drink this 32oz Bloody Mary, you’re gonna have to eat through the decadent Chinese buffet first. Don’t worry, the baked snow crab hand roll, duck bao, braised pork belly, three slices of bacon, herb-roasted potatoes, loompya stick, oshinko, and Chinese broccoli will go down easy.

sean cooley/thrillist

Maple Bacon Long John

Glazed & Infused (address and info)
Lincoln Park
You can’t go wrong with this chocolate-coated Long John topped with a thick strip of peppered bacon that's covered in syrup glaze. Better pick up a dozen, just in case.

sean cooley/thrillist

Donut burger

Buzz Bar (address and info)
North Center
What’s better than two glazed donuts on 4/20? Two glazed donuts with a burger between ‘em on 4/20 -- not to mention smoked bacon, cheese, caramelized strawberries, and truffle aioli.

fatso's last stand

Po'Boy Challenge 

Fatso's Last Stand (address and info)
Ukrainian Village
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to house this 7lb po’ boy (2lbs of which are fried jumbo shrimp), then polish off a pound of shoestring fries and down a 32oz soda... in 45 minutes or less if you want to win the challenge. Or in whatever time you want if you want to win at life.

rockit burger bar

Mac & Cheese Attack

Rockit Burger Bar (address and info)
Bro. Beef patty slapped between two pieces of fried mac & cheese.

revolution brewing

Bacon fat popcorn

Revolution Brewpub (address and info)
Logan Square
Have you had popcorn that’s been tossed around in salt, sage, and bacon fat, then topped with extra bacon chunks and Parmesan cheese before? You should get a big bowl.

courtesy of EDOUARD PIERRE

Queso fundido

Big Star (address and info)
Wicker Park
Big Star is famous for cheap and tasty tacos, but the melted queso Chihuahua cheese with meaty chorizo and peppers is what your taste buds have been searching for in between GTA V levels.

jake melnick's corner tap

XXX Hot Wings Challenge

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap (address and info)
River North
Today might be the day you find your face up on Jake Melnick’s “Wall of Flame” if you can finish off some hot wings cooked with Trinidad Scorpion pepper without screaming for a “cooling plate.” And since you can't feel anything right now, this is totally a great move. Oh, and if scorching off your taste buds isn’t your thing, there’s always the 8lb Monster Burger.

sean cooley/thrillist

Ice cream donut sandwich

Firecakes Donuts (address and info)
River North
These vanilla bean gelato-stuffed donuts with chocolate sauce and cocoa nibs are heavy hitters but light as air, so you’ll be able to easily eat two. Or 22.

flickr/clarence risher

S'mores Pizza

Dimo's Pizza (address and info)
Wicker Park + Lakeview
Dude. C'mon.

sean cooley/thrillist

Donut milkshake

Beavers Coffee and Donuts (address and info)
West Loop
Buttermilk batter donuts crumbled up and blended into four scoops of Bobtail ice cream. FTW.

kailley lindman/thrillist

Deep-fried Twinkie

Parts and Labor (address and info)
Logan Square
It's almost like Chicago was built specifically for 4/20.


Kimchi fries

Del Seoul (address and info)
Lincoln Park
Whoa. Pork belly, scallions, sautéed k-chi, onions, melted cheddar, Jack, and sour cream on fries.

courtesy of jason little photo

Chicken fried burger

Crew Bar & Grill (address and info)
A crispy, deep-fried burger topped with bacon, pickles, mayo, and good ole 'Murican cheese on a bun sounds like a yes.

courtesy of KARI SKAFLEN

Fried house-made bologna sandwich

Au Cheval (address and info)
West Loop
Everyone knows Au Cheval has awesome burgers. Unless their short-term memory is gone today, in which case only some people know. Annnnnnyway, the fried bologna sandwich is ALSO awesome -- a cheesy, meaty, salty combination layered between halves of the softest bun ever.

hamburger mary's

Big Fatty Challenge

Hamburger Mary's (address and info)
When you can’t decide whether you want something salty, sweet, or spicy, why not get all three? Hamburger Mary’s Big Fatty Challenge covers all the basics for when the munchies strike: huge-ass burger, fries, hot wings, chicken tenders, onion rings, and deep-fried Twinkies. This, my friends, is not a drill.

franks n' dawgs

Bacon mac & cheese dog

Franks ‘n Dawgs (address and info)
Lincoln Park
It’s not every day you can get a handmade bacon Bratwurst topped with truffle mac & cheese with Parmesan and bread crumbs piled onto a brioche roll... oh wait, it is.


Chili Mac Attack

Handlebar (address and info)
Creamy smoked gouda mac piled high with veggie chili, aged cheddar, sour cream, house-made pickled jalapeños, pico, tortilla crisps, and... wait, what were we talking about?


Lucky's Challenge

Lucky's Sandwich Co. (address and info)
One overstuffed sandwich with fries in it? Mmm. THREE overstuffed sandwiches with fries in them? Mmm mmm mmm.

courtesy of NICK BISCARDI

Tater tot pizza

Quenchers Saloon (address and info)
Logan Square
Well, they’ve got a pizza topped with tater tots, bacon, and cheddar cheese, so...


Macadamia Turtle Pie

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse (address and info)
Near North Side
Vanilla ice cream turtle pie covered in macadamia nuts and surrounded with a cinnamon-laced crumbly crust. The servers usually slice this quarter of a pie into pieces so you can share it. Tell them not to do that.

sean cooley/thrillist

Ramen Kobe Burger

Buzz Bar (address and info)
North Center
The ramen buns on Buzz Bar’s ramen burger (deemed one of the best deep-fried foods in Chicago) are buttered before they’re griddled, and the Kobe beef patty comes with a fried egg, gooey sharp cheddar cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, peppery arugula, and Sriracha sauce on top. Try not to make a mess.

sean cooley/thrillist

Hawaiian Hot

Hoppin' Hots (address and info)
A gourmet hot dog topped with teriyaki pork, pineapple relish, pickled red onions, crushed avocado, and Cotija cheese. Uh huh.

COLIN JOLIAT/thrillist

Loaded fries

Edzo’s Burger Shop (address and info)
They're like the loaded cheese fries you left your house looking for, except 100,000,000,000,000 times better -- with bacon, Merkts cheddar, green onions, and sour cream.


Ice cream cookie sandwich

Cookies & Carnitas (address and info)
There’s no way we’d turn down an ice cream sandwich made with chewy, plate-sized cookies stuffed to the gills with almost a pint of Häagen-Dazs vanilla, then rolled in chocolate chips or crushed peanuts. No. Way.

sean cooley/thrillist

Bacon Bomb

Kaiser Tiger (address and info)
West Loop
If there was a golden bong you could hand out to the place with the best munchies in Chicago, it'd go to Kaiser Tiger and this 5lb loaf of ground sausage, pork, and beef with a sugar-bacon woven exterior and a pepper-bacon center.

margie's candies

World's Largest Sundae

Margie's Candies (address and info)
Logan Square

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Nicole Bruce is a contributing writer for Thrillist Chicago and lover of tater tots, especially if they’re on top of pizza. Follow her on Twitter at @nicoleabruce.

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1. Rapidito Colombian Gourmet Bites 1855 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

This Columbian spot in Lincoln Park offers up authentic South American flavors, like their signature hot dog that comes topped with cheese, crushed potato chips, quail eggs, and about three different sauces including pineapple sauce.

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2. Flo 1434 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

This Latin American brunch spot is the perfect place to treat yourself to great comfort food in Noble Square. Aside from free coffee, their French toast is super tasty and their Bloodys are strong and delicious.

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3. Waffles Cafe 203 E. Ohio, Chicago, IL 60611 (Streeterville)

One of a handful of Waffles properties in Chicago, Waffles Cafe's doesn't serve up your typical waffle. They dole out versions like their Red Velvet, Green Tea, and Mexican Chocolate.

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4. Sunda 110 W Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

Toeing the line between swanky hotspot and sophisticated dining destination, this Asian fusion concept from Rockit Ranch Productions is a worthy choice for an undeniably hip meal out in River North. The menu offers some seriously interesting eats (duck breast kimchi, oxtail pot stickers) and includes sushi, sashimi, and plenty of wok dishes. The beer list is heavy on the Asian pours, and there are sake and speciality cocktails as well. Sunda's decor feels just as sleek as the menu with polished black bamboo and high wooden tables.

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5. Glazed & Infused 939 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Glazed & Infused is a doughnut-and-dessert eatery with locations in a few places around the city -- and they're serving up treats like the Maple Bacon Long John with maple frosting and a strip of candied bacon. CANDIED. BACON.

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6. Fatso's Last Stand 2258 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Ukrainian Village)

This no frills, Ukrainian Village eatery pretty much has the perfect name, with a menu chock-full of items like fresh-cut fries, char dogs, and burgers. One of the staples here is the Double Fatso with cheese -- two perfectly grilled beef patties flanked by slices of American cheese, onion, and secret sauce -- a burger that can give In-N-Out a run for its money.

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7. Rockit Burger Bar 3700 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613 (Wrigleyville)

This is the only time you'll hear "Come see what's between our buns," and not be freaked out. Rockit Burger Bar offers some badass burgers, including gems like the huevos rancheros burger and a chicken breast patty aptly named "The Motherclucker." If you're craycray and burgers aren't your thing, flatbreads and small bites are also served.

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8. Revolution Brewpub 2323 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Salvaged wood and classic styling make for a handsome space wherein you can down your favorite Revolution brew and pair it with a tasty sandwich, burger, or even a pork chop.

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9. Big Star 1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622 (Chicago)

A lot of things about Wicker Park's Big Star will make you feel like you're in Texas. First, there's the taco-centric menu that features a dozen taco varieties and necessary sides like guacamole and queso. Then there's the drink selection, which is heavy on whiskey, tequila, and craft beer. The massive outdoor patio begs for you to order a margarita and drink the day away, especially during the summer when the seasonal music series is in full swing.

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10. Jake Melnick's Corner Tap 41 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611 (River North)

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap is a beer bar in River North, Chicago that's serving up some killer hot wings and other bar foods.

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11. Firecakes 68 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654 (River North)

The latest addition to Chicago's coffee-dunking circuit, Firecakes is a small-batch donut shop from the owner of La Madia, rotating a roster of sweetness like Tahitian vanilla glazed, blood orange and raspberry jelly, and Nutella long johns that'll provide a comfortable home for your (hazel)nuts.

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12. Dimo's Pizza Wicker Park 1615 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

Dimo's Pizza's Wicker Park location is bigger than the original Lakeview one, has got $1 slices with certifiably crazy toppings, and a beer menu of local and season drafts and cans.

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13. Beavers Coffee and Donuts 131 N Clinton St, Chicago, IL 60661 (West Loop)

Beavers Coffee and Donuts serves up delicious drinks and pastries, and occasionally has been known to combine the two into some crazy Frankenstein milkshakes.

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14. Parts and Labor 2700 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

Parts and Labor is a hamburger-centric barestaurant in Logan Square known for its griddle burgers, sodas, and beer. The classic double burger, topped with two slices of American cheese, packs so many sandwich pickles between buns that you'll get a taste of the crisp texture in every bite. Vegetarians, don't be turned away by the beefy signature -- black bean and vegan patties are available, and the grilled cheese sandwich is a beautiful blend of three cheeses.

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15. Del Seoul 2568 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Inspired by the Korean taco craze that's become a food truck staple across the land, DS is bringing that street ethos to a takeout-focused brick 'n mortar joint covered in food cart-esque sheet metal and three flat-screens touting the menu, so finally TVs'll actually help you stuff your face in front of them.

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16. Crew Bar & Grill 4804 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60640 (Uptown)

This Uptown sports bar has a solid list of beer in bottles and on draft, $7 Double Bloody Marys on the weekends, and tasty fare like a chicken fried burger -- a crispy, deep-fried chicken thigh topped with remoulade, IPA caramelized onions, and pickles on a bun.

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17. Au Cheval 800 W Randolph, Chicago, IL 60607 (West Loop)

This upscale West Loop restaurant is known for its European flair and sophisticated American diner-style eats. Au Cheval usually has a wait out the door at peak dinner hours because it's home to iconic signature items like the fried house-made bologna sandwich and the so-called single burger, which actually comes with two thin patties and is topped with American cheese, house Dijonnaise, pickles, and if you know what's good for you, the optional bacon and fried egg add-ons. The brasserie-like space includes an open kitchen and a bar where local, domestic, and international beers are all on tap.

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18. Hamburger Mary's 5400 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640 (Andersonville)

When you can’t decide whether you want something salty, sweet, or spicy, why not get all three? Hamburger Mary’s Big Fatty Challenge covers all the basics for when the munchies strike: huge-ass burger, fries, hot wings, chicken tenders, onion rings, and deep-fried Twinkies. This, my friends, is not a drill.

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19. Franks 'N Dawgs 1863 N Clybourn, Chicago, IL 60614 (Lincoln Park)

Chef'd by a Blackbird/Sixteen alum, FND looks like an unassuming hot dog stand decked out in red, black, and steel and ornamented with photos of local graffiti (would also be American Graffiti, but shockingly Opie isn't anywhere).

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20. The Handlebar 2311 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Wicker Park)

This hipster-approved restaurant and bar in Wicker Park serves a vegan and vegetarian menu of American classics. Breakfast is served daily until 3pm (don't worry, there are plenty of egg dishes) but expect seitan sausage instead of bacon. The rest of the menu (it serves lunch and dinner too) is filled with meat-free bar bites like fried avocado tacos, chili cheese fries (available with vegan queso), soy-based sloppy Joes, all of which taste especially good when paired with a drink in the beer garden.

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21. Lucky's Sandwich Co. 3472 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657 (Wicker Park)

Lucky's serves up Pittsburgh-style sandos that'll fill ya up, especially if you get a side of their deep-fried hunks of Provolone. Attempt the Lucky’s Challenge, because why opt for just one Pittsburgh-style hulk sandwich with fries and coleslaw in it when you could have THREE stacked with different kinds of deli meats? Devour all overstuffed sandwiches within an hour, and all of 'em are on the house and your pretty mug will live on wall of fame style, which is just as cool as doing it for Man v. Food, right?

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22. Quenchers Saloon 2401 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Opened in 1979, this laid-back corner bar on the Bucktown/Logan border was a craft beer bar way before people on the Internet were making lists of good craft beer bars. Because there was no Internet. And, there weren’t really other beer bars. They aren’t really the type to brag that they did it first, though (well, they do call themselves “Chicago’s Original Beer Bar,” but they don’t broadcast it too loudly). They’re too busy maintaining an unassailable tap list, throwing kickass rock shows in the back, and offering kickass-er specials all week. Just because you have great craft beer doesn’t mean people can’t appreciate $1 Blatz and $2 mystery shots.

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23. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse 1028 N Rush St, Chicago, IL 60611 (Near North Side)

This upscale Gold Coast steakhouse is known for three things: its celebrity clientele, mammoth steaks (especially the Tomahawk 42 chop), and macadamia turtle pie. Gibsons is where you go to eat an over-the-top meal in the company of high-rollers.

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24. Buzz Bar 1935 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613 (North Center)

Buzz Bar's a Chicago burger temple with patties sandwiched between traditional buns, ramen buns, donut buns... you name it, they've got it! They're also slinging a bunch of unique burger toppings, like beef stroganoff with actual egg noodles.

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25. Hoppin' Hots 1477 W Balmoral, Chicago, IL 60640 (Andersonville)

Hoppin' Hots is the place to get deliciously decorated and crazily infused hot dogs.

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26. Edzo's Burger Shop 1571 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201 (Lincoln Park)

Edzo isn't the name of a creepy clown but of an awesome burger joint with a serious '70s vibe. The patties are made from house-ground chuck that's pressed, griddled, then topped with extras like fried egg or giardiniera relish. The menu includes elevated French fry options -- order them "Crazy" to get a topping of chili, cheese, and chopped onion or "Angry" with four kinds of spices. Edzo's is also known for its milkshakes, which are made the old-fashioned way -- on a slow-mixing spindle machine -- to yield an extra-smooth and creamy texture.

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27. Cookies & Carnitas 5759 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60660 (Edgewater)

Cookies & Carnitas serve exactly what you think they would... plus sandwiches, pizza, tacos, salads, and the Dirk Diggler: an obscenely long, specially made kosher dog served with Mexican-style relish.

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28. Kaiser Tiger 1415 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

This absolutely insane temple of beer is adorned with a 200-seat beer garden, killer skyline views, 24 primo drafts, flights of sausage, and the heart-stopping brown sugar-rubbed bacon bomb.

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29. Margie's Candies 1960 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

To put it in blunt terms, you simply haven't lived the true Chicago life until you've been to the legendary Margie's Candies. Serving Bucktown since 1921, this generations-old candy shop offers every confection imaginable, all made by hand every day. The ice cream, scooped into homemade waffle cones and delicately dipped in a rich chocolate sauce, is so decadent that both The Rolling Stones and The Beatles have ventured here after shows to satisfy their (brown) sugar cravings.